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Glycolic Acid Peels: Everything You Need To Know

What is a glycolic acid peel?

Glycolic acid peels are a type of superficial peel. Superficial peels cause the top layers of damaged skin to peel away over 7-10 days. Unlike medium or deep chemical peels, they will not affect the underlying layers of tissue.

Glycolic acid comes in different concentrations ranging between 20%-70%.  

What conditions does a glycolic acid peel treat?

Because minor skin blemishes are located in the top layer of skin, a glycolic peel can give you much smoother skin with a more even tone. 

Glycolic acid peels are best for the following conditions:

How many treatments will I need?

For best results, a series of glycolic acid peels is recommended. However, a noticeable difference is seen even after one treatment.

What should I expect during a glycolic acid peel?

On the day of your peel, you will wash your face with a gentle cleanser. Then, an acetone solution will be used to remove extra lipids (oils) on the top layer of your skin. The peel will then be applied to the full face. After 2-5 minutes, your physician will neutralize the peel with a solution. You may notice a slight burning or tingling sensation during this process. The full appointment will take less than 30 minutes.

What are the potential side effects of a glycolic acid peel?

Glycolic acid peels are non-invasive. Since they do not affect the underlying layers of tissue, serious complications are rare. You may experience some minor side effects, including:

What should I expect after a glycolic acid peel?

You should expect your skin to have mild peeling and redness for 7-10 days following the peel. Mild redness may last 2-4 weeks. Specific aftercare instructions and products will be provided by your physician at Elevation Dermatology. 

Call Elevation Dermatology at 303-431-5280 to schedule your glycolic acid peel today!

Nazanin Kalani Williams, MD

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